Detained as national security risk
The security test that Ranjini failed was conducted by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
According to its website, ASIO says part of its protective security work is "to assess whether people applying for entry or permanent residence visas have the potential for espionage, have links with a terrorist organization, or may in other ways be a threat to national security."
Refugees who fail the assessment are not told why and they have no right to legal appeal. Because they're refugees, the country is obliged to offer them protection under international law. But under Australian law, they can't be freed.
On Wednesday, the High Court of Australia will be asked to assess whether it's legal under Australian law and the constitution to detain refugees indefinitely and "whether Australian law puts a different value on liberty for non-citizens, one where liberty is more easily put in jeopardy," Manne said.
It's not known when the court will release its findings, nor the extent of the potential implications for more than 50 other refugees in the same situation.
'Serious psychological harm'
Australia's policy of indefinite detention has been harshly criticized in the past, most recently by a special committee of 18 human rights experts assembled by the United Nations.
In a report released on August 22, the committee said the policy was inflicting "serious psychological harm" on the 46 detainees who brought their complaints, the largest ever against Australia, to the U.N. Human Rights Committee.
"The combination of the arbitrary character of (their) detention, its protracted and/or indefinite duration, the refusal to provide information and procedural rights to (them) and the difficult conditions of detention are cumulatively inflicting serious psychological harm upon them," the Committee said.
The report claimed the policy represented 143 violations of international law and urged Australia to free, compensate and rehabilitate the refugees involved.
Ranjini was not one of the detainees who took their complaints to the United Nations, though she is among those being held.
The independent reviews
Almost one year ago, the Australian government, then led by Julia Gillard, appointed an independent reviewer to examine evidence used by ASIO to determine whether a refugee was a national security risk.
It followed an Australian Senate Committee report into the country's Immigration Detention Network which found that cases of indefinite detention should be subject to review.
Of the 10 reviews completed so far by retired Federal Court Judge Margaret Stone, eight of the negative assessments were found to be "appropriate." Ranjini's was one of them. She still doesn't know exactly why.
"We didn't expect that outcome," Ganesh said. "We were expecting that (the judge) would give a positive indication to release Ranjini. That was very sad for myself and my family."
Political parties vie for asylum votes
Australia's asylum policy has been one of the key issues of the upcoming Australian election to be held on September 7. Both leading political parties have announced plans that include sending asylum seekers offshore for processing.
Under a Labor government, led by Kevin Rudd, asylum seekers found to be refugees would be settled in Papua New Guinea or the island of Nauru. None would be allowed to remain in Australia.
The opposition's policy, led by Tony Abbott, goes a step further and proposes refusing permanent visas to some 32,000 people already in Australia who are waiting for their claims to be processed.
Both parties have defended their policies as necessary to discourage the thousands of people who are paying people smugglers to board often unseaworthy boats for the dangerous trip to Australia.
"What we're seeking to do through these arrangements at the moment is to send a message to people smugglers around the world that the business model is basically undermined,'' Rudd said during the policy launch. "It says if you jump on a boat you're going to end up in Australia. That doesn't apply any more.''
Abbott -- who is currently leading pre-election opinion polls -- went one step further over the weekend in announcing that, if he came to power, asylum seekers would be denied government-funded legal assistance, a move the Refugee Council of Australia has slammed as "disastrous" for people seeking refuge.
Abbott would also scrap independent reviews for people like Ranjini, denying them the one opportunity they have for their cases to be re-examined.